Sometimes there are sub-genres so niche that it’s almost impossible to write about them. Luckily the swing-hop scene has a couple of exceptional exponents that mean this feature can most definitely be written and inject some fun into the potentially dreary day that’s outside the window. Ladies and gentleman, get the dancing shoes on as you experience The Correspondents and Movits!
The Correspondents aren’t the first group you’d expect to see at a South London dubstep/fidget house night and yet their performance at Corsica Studios over a year ago had everyone quickly switching their allegience from wobbly basslines to beats over samples from ‘The Jungle Book’. The skin-tight trouser clad MC Mr Bruce strode to the stage and began shaking his impossibly long legs to the beats put down by his DJ, Chuckles, and from that point on, everyone was a convert.
You’d be forgiven for not knowing they hail from London, with Mr Bruce’s plum-in-the-mouth vocals coupled with the combination of 1930s samples but the Wandsworth based duo are making some of the most fun music around. If the BBC used these guys as the soundtrack to their dusty period dramas, their audience share would surely soar through the roof.
Their latest video is for ‘Washington Square’ and squeezes everything that’s so great about them into three and a half minutes. The black and white imagery, the catchy chorus, the woodwind hook and, most importantly, the dapper Mr Bruce’s dancing, all combine to devastating effect. Seeing that in a live environment and not throwing shapes either means you’re deaf or else standing in quick drying cement. With an EP out now, they are definitely ones to look out for.
Moving North East is the small city of Luleå in Sweden, the home of Movits!. Their music is slightly different from their English counterparts in that they tend to move more towards using more live brass and employ a guitar for their music, but the ethos is the same.
Movits! sing in their native Swedish, preferring not to go the route of fellow Swedish countrymen Adam Tensta and Looptroop who drop their flows in English, and whilst the vast majority of people outside of their homeland who listen to the tunes won’t be able to understand what’s being said, the music is strong enough to win everyone’s attention. Hell, ‘Swing for Hyresgastforeningen’ even has a Saxophone solo at the end and only Duran Duran have been able to get away with that in the past!
With their brogues shined and bow ties straightend, Movits!, who have appeared on cult comedy show The Colbert Report in America, are most certainly a toe-tapping, jazz-hands waving treat to listen to. They have a sense of humour too, with t-shirts that proclaim ‘They say hip hop was born in the Bronx, but the Bronx was born in Sweden’ and with tunes as fun as ‘Fel Del Av Gården’, the video for which is below, you’ll be too busy dancing to care where it came from, just happy that it is coming out of the speakers.
Swing-hop might not be about to knock Cheryl Cole from the summit of the charts, but it’s guaranteed to plaster smiles across numerous faces. From Sweden to London and beyond, here’s to hoping many more artists emerge from the scene.